Family Nursing: Environmental Health Assessment

A client is a 55-year-old woman working for a law firm for nine years, during the seven of which she had a respiratory illness. She does not smoke at all and lives in a brand-new house near a golf course.

As a family nurse, I can identify several possible contributory factors that affect the client’s health. First, Cezar-Vaz et al., (2015) claim that the contamination and exposure to the environment include, for example, contamination by asbestos” (p. 1424). It seems that an old building the client prefers to work in is the primary cause of her disease exacerbations. Also, perennial dust and pollen accumulated in this building might cause respiratory illness. Second, it is not clearly stated in the case whether the client’s coworkers use tobacco or not. It is important as secondhand smoke affects human health significantly. Third, a golf course located near the client’s house might also be a contributory factor due to the use of pesticides or other chemicals.

From the above observations, it becomes obvious that the client is at risk of serious respiratory exacerbations that might impact her quality of life. In particular, exposure pathways for my client include air, groundwater, and soils. To improve the health status of the client, it is appropriate to recommend a set of measures to avoid harmful environmental effects. For example, I would recommend, at first, to stop working in the old building to exclude this factor. After that, it is essential to limit smoking areas and avoid passive smoking (Apelberg et al., 2012). Furthermore, to prevent illness from groundwater and soil exposure pathways, I would recommend installing special filters in the client’s home. As for my community, air pollution caused by the proximity of the local plant might affect the health of people.


Apelberg, B. J., Hepp, L. M., Avila-Tang, E., Gundel, L., Hammond, S. K., Hovell, M. F.,… Breysse, P. N. (2012). Environmental monitoring of secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco Control, 22(3), 147-155. Web.

Cezar-Vaz, M. R., Bonow, C. A., Anna, C. F., Rocha, L. P., Almeida, M. C., & Silva, M. R. (2013). Environmental health in public health community practice: An integrative review of the literature. Health, 5(9), 1422-1432. Web.

Public health nursing: Scope and standards of practice. (2013). Silver Spring, MA: ANA.